Alberta Garment stays the course as co-owner makes slow recovery from COVID
A Calgary businessman who ended up on a ventilator after catching COVID-19 is now on the road to recovery, and his business partner says a city contract has helped the pair’s factory stay afloat.
Adrian Bussoli caught COVID-19 in April, just days before he was supposed to get his vaccination.
The virus left him in hospital on a ventilator, and in an induced coma, but his family says he is now awake and breathing on his own.
Bussoli had his breathing tube removed about one week ago and is talking again with family.
His son Michael said his dad is not fully out of the woods, but is doing better than before.
“He has lost a huge amount of muscle because of the medically induced coma and bedridden state for 4.5 weeks,” said Michael. “He is so thankful for the care that he has received from the nurses and doctors.”
His family says he has at least three months of recovery ahead of him, but a GoFundMe that raised $50,000 will help Bussoli and his wife deal with the unexpected income loss.
Meanwhile, Bussoli’s business partner Mohamed Packir is crediting the City of Calgary with helping their business weather the storm.
When both he and Bussoli got sick, they asked all their workers at Alberta Garment Manufacturing (AGM) to remain at home and isolate.
“The whole plant technically shut down,” said Packir. “Everybody went home for three weeks.”
He and his wife went to an isolation hotel, and called on a friend to watch their five-year-old daughter, who thankfully did not catch the virus.
He said his bout with COVID was much more than the average flu.
“It was unbearable,” he said. “No taste, a headache — like somebody hitting you on the head with a two-by-four.”
He was incapacitated with weakness and fatigue for days, but through his sickness, he worried about the jobs of his employees and the contract they had with the city.
AGM had won a tender on a significant city contract to produce overalls and coveralls for city workers. Packir said there were 700 pieces outstanding in the order when the plant shut down.
“When I first tested positive for COVID, my first reaction was, ‘What’s going to happen for the city orders?’” said Packir.
At the city, leader of inventory management Todd Daniels was already familiar with AGM. The city had relied on the company to make PPE early on in the pandemic, when the entire world was scrambling to get face masks.
“AGM was one of those companies that really stepped up and helped support the city’s needs for face coverings,” said Daniels.